Comedian T.J. Miller, star of the critically acclaimed series Silicon Valley, has been accused of sexual assault and physical abuse. According to numerous comedians, Miller's misconduct had been an open secret in the industry for years.
Miller's alleged victim has come forward to The Daily Beast.
“He just tried a lot of things without asking me, and at no point asked me if I was all right,” says the woman, who has chosen to remain anonymous, fearing retribution. “He choke[d] me, and I kept staring at his face hoping he would see that I was afraid and [that he] would stop ... I couldn’t say anything ... I couldn’t bring myself [at the time] to believe this had happened. It was me not wanting it to be true.”
The victim also claims she was non-consensually anally penetrated while repeatedly attempting to fend off Miller's advances.
Miller has, over the years, denied the accusations.
"[This accuser] began again to circulate rumors online once [my] relationship [with my wife] became public," wrote Miller in a statement. "Sadly she is now using the current climate to bandwagon and launch these false accusations again. It is unfortunate that she is choosing this route as it undermines the important movement to make women feel safe coming forward about legitimate claims against real known predators.”
Miller's victim said she was compelled to discuss her story in the wake of an ongoing and ever-expanding conversation about sexual misconduct in the entertainment industry.
“I attended George Washington University for undergraduate studies from 2000 until December 2003 ... I had a romantic relationship with [this victim], who spoke with me about T.J. Miller sexually assaulting her,” said Matt Lord, who currently works as an attorney, to the Daily Beast. “At the time I believed the statements she made regarding the assault by Mr. Miller, and I continue to believe the statements she made are true. She was engaged in student conduct proceedings regarding the sexual assault, and I remember the emotional toll that the assault and the subsequent conduct hearings placed on her.”
According to some comedians, Miller's misconduct had been an open secret in the industry for years.
Comedian Katie Rose Leon told Oxygen.com that Miller's misconduct were well known within the comedy circuit: "T.J. Miller's assault allegations have been known for years," she says. "It's the first thing you find out when you get off the plane in LA: 'Hi, welcome to the West Coast, we like to eat healthy and T.J. Miller is a rapist.'"
"It's frustrating because for every producer or comic that would warn you, there were three others denying it," Leon continued. "[They said] it was a set up or a rumor. Which is ironic because how I understand most people found out about it the first time was [from] T.J. himself."
"The T.J. Miller stuff has been kind of an open secret for a while," another female comedian told Oxygen.com. She has also chosen to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation. "I've been hearing for years about how he was asked to leave Georgetown because he hit a woman. This has been going on for long enough that even before I was a veteran in the world of stand up, I vaguely knew about it. And as someone who has spent some time around the Denver Improv scene, people are really willing to look past it ... Everybody sort of knew about it, and they were more interested in booking a famous guy on their shows then heading the warnings of people who said not to."
"It's a pretty clear example of people being willing to look the other way — especially people who are otherwise very outspoken about protecting women and supporting women," said the comedian.
Miller is set to star in an upcoming film with Kristen Stewart and another starring Ryan Reynolds. He is also at the helm of Comedy Central's The Gorburger Show. The fate of his current projects, given the recent accusations, remains unclear for the time being.
“It is unfathomable to me that he doesn’t understand that he actually put me through something I have to live with, that I never would’ve chosen, that completely, completely set the tone for my sexual adult life, that I actively had to spend years and years… un-programming," said the alleged victim.
[Photo: Getty Images]